In 2013 Kärt defended Ph.D in Art and Design from the Estonian Academy of Arts. In her practice based research work she developed and designed series of smart textile based objects.
Pillowhugger collection was one of the few. It was an experimental collection of textile products, incorporating soft electronics and responsive inks. The collection consisted of different types of active and interactive cushions.
Textiles could be some of the ubicomp elements in future smart home environment, being part of the AmI. Also, the interactive textile objects can be used in the learning context as study tools. Based on that on the one hand, and an iterative process of experimenting with the soft electronics on the other, a concept of interactive pillows was designed. Lightning pillow looks like any ordinary pillow. The difference lies in the effect that is revealed when the pillow is hugged or touched.
When activated, a beam of light uncovers the layered patterns that are placed inside the pillow. Different pattern themes are designed for the illuminating pillows, some inspired by natural structures and surfaces, some following the principles of sight psychology. The covering layer gives a hint of the sensor areas through the minimalistic design of contrast colour and figure use.